Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a condition that results in pain around the outside of the elbow.  It is a bit of a misnomer, as it seldomly affects tennis players. It often occurs after continuous or stenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the back of the forearm, near the elbow joint.

Anatomy

The muscles that surround the elbow joint,  move the elbow, wrist and fingers. In tennis elbow, the point of attatchment of the tendons to the bone (lateral epicondyle), becomes painful. This is a result of mini/micro tears within the tendon.

What usually happens

  • Pain with turning a door handle or  gripping activites, such opening the lid of a jar
  • Pain with using a computer mouse
  • Pain with lifting a saucepan or kettle

Treatment

  • Rest
  • Ice (ask your physio about the best ways to deliver ice to an injury)
  • Modification of sports technique
  • Taping/bracing
  • Mobilisation
  • Eccentric (specific tendon strengthening exercises)
  • Ultrasound

Your physiotherapist will do a series of tests, to confirm your diagnosis, and give you the appropriate treatment.